British Prime Minister Challenges Encrypted Messaging Apps
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is seeking reelection, wants encrypted messaging services to give British intelligence access to online conversations. In the name of preventing terrorism, Cameron is proposing banning services like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Snapchat unless they comply. “Are we going to allow a means of communications which it simply isn’t possible to read? My answer to that question is: ‘No, we must not,’” Cameron said. For those wondering, Cameron’s proposed back door requirement does not appear to contradict the European Union directive on privacy and electronic communications, which “does not affect the ability of Member States to carry out lawful interception of electronic communications.”
The UK Government is a coalition between Cameron's Conservative Party and Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats. Cameron is not seeking re-election of this government, and it's a simplification to call it "his" government. Cameron is seeking the election of a purely Conservative government.
One reason for this is that the Liberal Democrats oppose this proposed legislation. [Disclosure: I'm an Liberal Democrat councillor] We oppose the legislation for reasons of principle: privacy is a fundamental right, and reasons of pragmatism: it would be impossible to enforce, and could mean the withdrawal of sales of all sorts of computing devices in the UK, and would mean fundamentally weakening the security of important services such as online banking and shopping.
Thanks for the education! I'll reword to just "is seeking reelection" since I think that captures the sentiment that he's at least in part campaigning (when politicians often make sweeping proposals) without bogging down in the details.